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European Commission - Press release

Maritime security: the Commission calls on Sweden to apply correctly measures to improve port security

Brussels, 08 June 2011 - The European Commission has sent Sweden a formal request asking it to apply the EU Directive on improving port security correctly, and in particular to carry out assessments and implement port security plans. The Directive, which is one of the cornerstones of maritime security policy, aims to guarantee uniformly high levels of security in all European ports. Sweden has two months to show that it is applying the Directive.

The EU rules

The main aim of the Directive on enhancing port security (Directive 2005/65/EC) is to build on the measures adopted in 2004 in the Regulation on enhancing ship and port facility security (Regulation (EC) No 725/2004).

The measures aim to ensure adequate security levels throughout the port area, over and above the basic measures imposed on port terminal operators, by means of action on the part of national, regional and local authorities.

The main objective of the Regulation is to implement measures to enhance ship and port facility security against the threats posed by deliberate unlawful acts. The scope is limited to security measures on board vessels and at the immediate ship/port interface. The Directive builds on the measures provided for in the Regulation by establishing a system of security levels in port areas. The Directive aims to achieve maximum protection for maritime and port activities by means of port security measures covering each port within a perimeter specifically defined on a case-by-case basis by the Member State concerned. In this way the Directive will help improve security in port areas without creating new obligations in fields already covered by the Regulation. These measures apply to all ports in which one or more port facilities governed by the Regulation are situated.

The Directive and the Regulation thus provide a regulatory framework for protecting ports, as part of the maritime link in the transport logistics chain, against the risk of attacks and similar threats.

Why act now?

The Commission has taken this step following a visit made by its inspectors to Malmö (Sweden) in June 20101. The Malmö region has several port facilities which have a security plan; however, so far none of these ports appears in the list of ports which the Swedish authorities are required to send to the Commission.

The Commission therefore considers that Sweden is not correctly applying the security measures needed in ports, in particular in Malmö, in terms of the assessments and the port security plans required under the Directive.

The practical effects of non-implementation

Failure to comply with the Directive on enhancing port security could compromise port security at EU level, with the risks that this implies in terms of ensuring a uniformly high level of security in all ports of the European Union

The next step

Sweden has two months to comply with this request, which is in the form of a reasoned opinion, failing which the Commission could take action against Sweden before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

For more information MEMO/11/408

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

1 :

In accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 324/2008 of 9 April 2008 laying down revised procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of maritime security, OJ L 98, 10.4.2008.

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